[jmm-dev] Store completion query - general and ARM

David Holmes david.holmes at oracle.com
Thu Nov 10 09:20:01 UTC 2016

On 10/11/2016 7:07 PM, Andrew Haley wrote:
> On 10/11/16 00:06, David Holmes wrote:
>> Does any part of the JMM require actual visibility/completion of
>> volatile stores or is it only order that is defined (with an assumptions
>> that all stores will complete in a finite time)?
> Ordering is really all that we've got: all that memory fences can do
> is ensure that visibility of loads and stores is ordered in some way.

If we establish some global order of loads and stores, yes. That can in 
turn require that a store become visible prior to a given load.

>> In relation to ARM specifically, Dekker style algorithms require
>> visibility/completion of the store before the subsequent load, yet the
>> example in "A Tutorial Introduction to the ARM and POWER Relaxed Memory
>> Models" shows the use of DMB, not DSB.
> DMB is fine for that.  Dekker doesn't need a store to be forced out of
> the caches, only that the store be made visible to other processors
> before any operations later in program order.

Again it is far from obvious to me that DMB causes the store to be 
visible before any operations later in program order. I find the Group A 
/ Group B formulation (and even the definition of "observe") to be quite 
obscure and hard to map to actual code behaviour.

>> Yet AFAICS DMB says nothing about completion whereas DSB does. ??
>> (To be honest I find the Group A/B description of DMB properties
>> extremely hard to actually interpret wrt code like Dekker.)
> DSB is only really needed if there are multiple caches of the same
> address, i.e. Icache and Dcache: it's necessary to force a store out
> into main memory in order to refresh he Icache.

I thought only ISB had an effect relative to instructions/i-cache ??


> Andrew.

More information about the jmm-dev mailing list